Tuesday, May 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Hot Zone' - Nancy Presents Her Troubling Findings to the Army and the CDC in 'Charlie Foxtrot'

National Geographic's The Hot Zone - Episode 1.03 "Charlie Foxtrot"

When representatives from varying agencies disagree on how to handle Dr. Nancy Jaax's discovery, she realizes there are few protocols in place for containing a deadly virus on U.S. soil. An employee at the monkey research facility falls ill.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of National Geographic's The Hot Zone.

"Charlie Foxtrot" was written by James V. Hart & Kelly Souders and directed by Nick Murphy

People keep warning Nancy that she should be very concerned about letting Carter be a central figure of this investigation because of his crazy ideas when it comes to containment and stirring up hysteria. And yet, he's not the one actually driving this story forward. That's actually Nancy. She is the one making the arguments and trying to get everyone on the same page. She understands the threat perfectly. Sure, she may not have the field experience to inform everyone what to expect when it comes to exterminating all of the monkeys in the Hazelton facility. But she is certainly a force of nature who should be respected. She isn't getting that though. Jerry believes in her. He is a supportive husband who understands that she can convince whomever in order to get what she wants. She knows that the Ebola threat isn't contained. She wants to take every precaution to ensure that it doesn't jump species and spreads amongst humans. The threat level is rising. One Hazelton employee is taken to the hospital for testing. That leaves Peter and Ben very concerned about their own health. They could first rationalize that it was unlikely they would contract the disease because the employees who cared for the monkeys weren't showing any symptoms. They may still hold onto that belief because the one sick employee doesn't test positive for the virus. That is seen as a breath of fresh air. It means that Nancy and Carter may actually be overreacting. And yet, Nancy is right to be concerned that the systems aren't in place to contain a threat like this. It has always been theoretical because the chaos and destruction was always contained to Africa. That's where the flashback stories take place that discover these vicious and lethal diseases. Carter and Rhodes are seeing first hand just how deadly and quickly the disease spreads. It was ominous when the nuns where giving the people of the villages shots with the same needle. That should have informed the audience right away that the disease would spread quickly. But the purpose of this story is to show the continuing clashes between Carter and Rhodes. Carter must forge ahead to track down the spread of the virus in the hopes of saving lives by containing it to one area. Rhodes believes the blood samples need to be sent back to the lab immediately so that a vaccine can be created. Carter is realistic in knowing that it could take a long time for any kind of treatment to be found. Nancy notes that it still doesn't exist. So, Carter may be right in 1976 to pursue a lead in the hopes of stopping the disease before it continues spreading amongst the population. He is the expert when it comes to Ebola. He may be chasing the thrill in order to name the disease. He is very much willing to use fear in order to rally support. He is hardly the only one though. Again, Nancy understands who he is. She knows the tactics that he uses. She is stunned that the Army and the CDC are fighting over who gets control over this situation. It shows that she too is clashing with Rhodes and his new power. But she is still being very proactive in getting her team into the facility as quickly as possible. She isn't afraid to leak the story in the hopes of causing some quick action by the bigwigs who just want to debate the culpability of the situation. It demands immediate action. Nancy is ready to get in there and save lives. She is just going up against a system that isn't set up to even understand a threat like this. That comes after it was already shown just how serious the Army has treated these diseases previously with their containment at the lab.